Indiana's Wildlife - Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force 11/10/11


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Slides from presentation given by Barbara Simpson, Executive Director, Indiana Wildlife Federation, at Indiana Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force 11/10/11 meeting.

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  • IWF is a 501 (c) (3) organization and an independent affiliate of the National Wildlife FederationTeddy Roosevelt supported the wise use of our country’s natural resources, to use but not abuse. IWF promotes hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and other outdoor activities to build knowledge and interest in conservation.IWF focuses on habitat and encourages wildlife management techniques that maintain a healthy and sustainable environment.
  • Eg Clean Water Act Guidance and Great Lakes Compact
  • Insert Diagrams…
  • 180 acres of restoration to date in 2011
  • The most fish species north of the Ohio River = 227.11 natural regions are:
  • Although there are public state lands throughout the state,over 95% of the land in Indiana is privately owned.
  • Indiana is the smallest state in the region but had the 4th highest number of visits to state parks.Indiana also has 25 FWA’s, 14 state forests, and 9 reservoirs = 48 additional recreation sitesKentucky data limited: 4.34 mil population, 40,400 sq. miles, 52 state parks* Indiana also has 25 FWA’s, 14 state forests, and 9 reservoirs = 48 additional recreation sites
  • Conserve wildlife while it is cost effective to do so.Keep common species common.
  • Estimate of >2000 invertebrate species in Indiana based on the generally recognized estimate that insects make up ~75% of all animal speciesNumber of speciesVertebrates=3.8%59,811Invertebrates=75.7%1,203,375Plants=18.7%297,326Others=1.8%28,849Total1,589,361
  • Will touch on deer-doing well. Ruffed grouse-headed for extirpation. Quail – always sensitive to habitat and weather. Waterfowl not currently a significant contributor to hunting in IndianaFocus for hunting is on mammals and birds. Some frog/turtle but not large.Indiana has 3 native game birds: wild turkey, ruffed grouse, quail.
  • Heavy population density and reproduction is out of control.Hunters are the primary means of population control.Need more aggressive approach to annual deer harvests.Map of 2011 bonus antlerless deer harvest quotas. Counties red and orange are above target density deer populationsNote N IN red because too many deer in too little habitat
  • Grouse populations are dropping below viable levels statewide.This species represents a whole suite of wildlife and plant life that depends on young forest habitat and is seriously threatened in Indiana. Others species include: Whip-poor-wills, American Woodcock, Yellow-breasted Chats, Blue-winged Warblers, and many more.Grouse are a game bird that Indiana hunters are paying special fees to hunt (Gamebird Habitat Stamp), these fees are to be used for habitat management. Something needs to be done to address the neglect.
  • The 2nd of 3 remaining native resident game birds in IndianaSpikes indicate weather impactsLong term decline indicative of land use changes
  • Among the most pursued fish in IndianaAngler success is based on: number caught and size of catchMany of the regulations are based on managing these two metrics, e.g. size limits, daily limits
  • Trend for all anglers grew faster than the population until 1991 then declined. All hunters held steady with slight decline in recent years. Turkey hunting is increasing in popularity while deer hunting is decreasing slightly.Duck hunters are the stand outs. The demographic is primarily urban, remarkably high income, and younger.
  • State participation rates relative to the national average
  • Indicative of rise in deer population, not hunter effort.Deer were reintroduced in 1934
  • Other smaller constraints to hunting access:Road closuresNot enough information on where to huntNot having ATV access in generalNot able to retrieve the harvest due to ATV restrictionsCan’t find the land-maps wrongNot sure of the hunting boundariesToo far to travelNot able to find the land ownerto ask permissionPreviously open private land now closed-leased, sold or posted, new ownerPoor roads or trailsCost of gasCan’t find a place to launch or park boatDevelopment closing previously hunted landAccess or leasing fees being expensive
  • Providing access to private lands is important in keeping the hunting tradition alive
  • North American Conservation Model: Fish and Wildlife belong to all and are to be managed such that their populations will be forever sustained Wildlife DiversitySection’s charge: The law, IC 14-22-34, requires “The development of programs designed to ensure the continued ability of nongame species in need of management to self perpetuate successfully.”The state legislature established the Nongame Fund in 1982Nongame fund budget = xxxxxxx
  • Estimate of >2000 invertebrate species in Indiana based on the generally recognized estimate that insects make up ~75% of all animal speciesTotal Number of speciesVertebrates=3.8%59,811Invertebrates=75.7%1,203,375Plants=18.7%297,326Others=1.8%28,849Total1,589,361
  • Indiana’s “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” includes:State endangeredState special concernFederally endangeredFederally threatenedFederal candidateConserve wildlife while it is cost effective to do so.Keep common species common.
  • Mollusks indicate water quality issues-the canary in the coal mine
  • Other insect services include aerating the soil and creating water channels in soil to benefit plants, reintroduction of nutrient to the soil, e.g. dung beetle function.Point 3.Indiana Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy, pg 28IDNR Div. of Entomology and plant Pathology focus on nursery programs, bee inspections, pests and pathogens, phytosanitary programs.
  • Increased mortality means more are out there.Goal is to get them off the non-game list and get them on the game species list.Several species rebounding statewideRed = road killBlue = trap relatedYellow = unknown
  • “Clean water is hard to find”Several species facing serious threatsEastern box turtle, IN bat, freshwater musselsDeclines due to complex issuesIndiana Bat – disease and habitat lossBox turtles, whip-poor-wills, freshwater mussels – habitat lossSeveral of these species represent guilds of wildlife requiring similar rare and declining habitatYoung forests, large forest blocks, wetlands, grasslands, and clean water
  • Habitat management direction has been “hands off”, not active management.Examples are forests are imbalanced. We have middle-aged forests, not a diversity of young, middle, old forests.Fish disease – Viral HemorrhagicSepticemiaCervids – Chronic Wasting Disease
  • USA Corp of Engineers studying separation of Great Lakes and Mississippi RiverElectric barrier on the Illinois River appears to be working.
  • State population 6,484,000
  • Total expenditures $1.784 billion
  • $3.3 billion contribution
  • Conservation and Environment (IDEM and IDNR) received lowest % funding at 1.1% followed by Distribution at 1.8% and General Government at 3.8%.
  • PILT presented in IDNR presentation
  • Goose Pond FWA and Jasper-Polaski FWA successes
  • 8000 acres wetland restoration under the NRCS Wetland Reserve Program.Diverse habitat: 1380 acres prairie400 acres hardwood trees>4000 acres open waterFunding through complex partnerships:The Nature ConservancyDucks UnlimitedUSDA Natural Resources Conservation ServiceFederal Highway AdministrationUS Fish and Wildlife ServiceState of Indiana agenciesOther conservation groups, communities, individuals
  • Farmed for 100 years. Last crops harvested in 2000. State purchased in 2005.Largest WRP restoration in Indiana - 7th largest in the US.Wildlife response has far exceeded expectations.
  • Indiana's Wildlife - Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force 11/10/11

    1. 1. Presentation to the Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force November 10, 2011 INDIANA WILDLIFE FEDERATION Common Sense Conservation Since 1938 Barb SimpsonExecutive Director
    2. 2. Indiana Wildlife Federation Mission To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indianas wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and
    3. 3. Indiana Wildlife Federation Common Sense Conservation since 1938 Diverse state-wide membership of individuals, conservation organizations and businesses Non profit 501(c)(3) Independent affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation
    4. 4. Advocacy  Indiana Heritage Trust  Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force  Phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer program  IDNR rule-making and legislation to ensure fish and wildlife protection  Sound sustainable energy policy  Regional and federal natural resources issues, e.g. Farm Bill, Great Lakes Compact, Clean Water
    5. 5. Education Private lands conservation programs  Partner with NRCS, IDNR, SWCD Wildlife Friendly Habitat projects:  Backyard, Schoolyard, Neighborhoods, Businesses Environmental education in our schools  Indiana Environmental Literacy Plan Clean energy, sustainable strategies  Electric vehicles public forum Water quality workshops
    6. 6. Landscaping the Sustainable Campus Campuses using P-free fertilizer : Universities or colleges interested in sustainable lawn care, reducing lawn size, and certifying natural areas as wildlife friendly habitats Working with administration, staff, faculty, & students 10 Indiana universities
    7. 7. The Health of Indiana’s Water  What nutrient problems threaten fish and wildlife?  How can clean water & healthy habitats be restored?  6 workshops statewide:  Lafayette  Hanover  Portage  Evansville  Terre Haute  Muncie
    8. 8. Support Phosphorus-free Initiatives  Increased availability of P-free fertilizer in stores and from lawn service companies:  Scotts Miracle-Gro Company will have P-free Turf Builder line by 2012  TruGreen and Engledow Group are already P-free
    9. 9. Conservation Outreach and Education IWF partners with NRCS, IDNR, SWCS  Private landowners  Little Calumet-Galien watershed  Healthy Rivers Initiative-Wabash and Muscatatuck River watersheds  Conservation practices, landowner assistance programs, and technical assistance  Emphasis on WRP, WHIP, EQIP, andWabash Corridor invasive species
    10. 10. Wildlife FriendlyCertification Program  Provided technical assistance, coordination, and follow-up for 22 projects (~530 ac.) in 2010.  Included restoration (new habitat) and management (improve existing habitat) projects.  Grassland plantings, tree/shrub plantings, wetland construction, and invasive species control.
    11. 11. Wildlife in Indiana The Indiana setting and state comparisons Wildlife - health of the resource and challenges  Game species  Non-game species Habitat threats Wildlife associated recreation  Hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife watching participation  Economics Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats: One perspective An Indiana Success Story – Sneak Peak
    12. 12. The Indiana Setting Smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains 11 natural regions Land cover  72% agriculture  19% forest  4.3% urban/suburban  4% wetlands and water Great diversity due to Lake Michigan to the north, Ohio River to the south, and the Wabash River to the west. Sources: Wilson, J., Indiana in Maps-Geographic Perspectives of the Hoosier State, 2003. Simon, T., Fishes of Indiana, A Field Guide, 2011
    13. 13. Indiana has diversenatural regions thatprovide uniquehabitats. Lake Michigan NW Moraines Northern Lakes Grand Prairie Central Till Plane Southern Bottomlands SW Lowlands Shawnee Hills Highland Rim Bluegrass
    14. 14. Indiana state-owned public land Less than 5% of Indiana lands are publically owned.
    15. 15. State Comparisons: Population, Parks, Visitors State Population Size State Parks Visits Visits per (millions) (sq. miles) (millions) parkIllinois 12.9 55,600 44 30.0 682,000Ohio 11.54 41,000 75 54.3 724,000Michigan 9.88 96,810 100 21.2 212,000Indiana 6.48 35,900 25 15.4 616,000Missouri 6.00 69,700 85 15.9 187,000Wisconsin 5.69 54,300 106 14.5 137,000Minnesota 5.30 86,900 66 9.5 144,000Iowa 3.05 55,900 69 14.0 203,000 Source: TNC data summary distributed to SNRTF
    16. 16. Wildlife in IndianaTheir Basic Needs Food Shelter Water Space-privacy
    17. 17. >700 Vertebrate Species in Indiana Vertebrates >700  Invertebrates >2000  Birds 390+  Insects  Fish 190+  Crustaceans  Reptiles 50+  Arachnids  Mammals 50+  Mollusks  Amphibians 30+  Worms  Sponges
    18. 18. Wildlife - Hunting and Trapping Woodland game  Fur bearing game  Deer  Beaver  Ruffed Grouse  Coyotes  Squirrel  Mink  Wild Turkey  Muskrats  Opossum Upland game  Raccoons  Pheasant  Red Fox  Quail  Rabbit
    19. 19. White-tailed Deer Reintroduced in 1934, now overabundant Est. 34,000+ deer-vehicle collisions 2009-2010 Populations are controlled primarily by hunters Future management will require a much more proactive approach to increasing annual deer harvests 80% of counties (red and orange) above target density Over browsing has negative ecological impact
    20. 20. Ruffed Grouse 1 of only 3 native game birds Requires young forest habitat 90% of IN forests are between 20 and 99 years of age Need increased timber harvests where remnant populations are found or this species will not be in Indiana Need forest age diversity for numerous species, not just grouse.
    21. 21. Northern Bobwhite Quail Facing consistent long-term population declines Requires early successional grassland and shrubland habitat High grain prices and intensive farming are rapidly increasing threats Small habitat changes at a broad scale could result in tremendous rebounds Funding and outreach for landowner assistance programs is vital Indiana Quail Population Trends
    22. 22. Game fish in Indiana Native  Black bass  Bluegill  Crappies  Catfish  Other pan fish  Trout and salmon Introduced sport fish  Walleye  Striped bass  Hybrid striped bass  Muskellunge
    23. 23. Black Bass Includes largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass Abundance and individual health varies greatly across their distribution, but generally stable statewide Major threats are primarily  Sedimentation of streams  Eutrophication of lakes  Other habitat concerns  Not necessarily pressure from harvest
    24. 24. Game Species for Trapping Species Total Sold Avg. Price 2011 YTD Muskrats 551 6.30 Raccoons 467 11.25 Red Fox 3 28.00 Mink 33 16.00 Coyotes 13 7.00 Beaver 2 15.00 Opossum 25 1.35 Grey Fox 0 0 Skunks 0 0 Weasels 1 1.00
    25. 25. US Hunters and Anglers Declining Indiana trend is similar2006 participation rate in Indiana: 5.5% hunters, 13.1% anglers Source: Report 2006-8 Trends in Hunting and Fishing 1999-2006, US Fish and Wildlife Service
    26. 26. IN Deer Hunters above the national average Source: Report 2006-8 Trends in Hunting and Fishing 1999-2006, US Fish and Wildlife Service
    27. 27. Deer Harvest in IndianaRise indicates growth in deer population
    28. 28. IN Turkey Hunters above the national average Source: Report 2006-8 Trends in Hunting and Fishing 1999-2006, US Fish and Wildlife Service
    29. 29. IN Black bass anglers > US participation rateSource: Report 2006-8 Trends in Hunting and Fishing 1999-2006, US Fish and Wildlife Service
    30. 30. Hunter and angler access issues Anglers:  Good access sites around lakes are gone  Expensive to get new access sites  Stream access limited if not “navigable”  Must be in a boat. Cannot wade “non-navigable” streams Hunters:  Less than 5% of Indiana is public land  Access to private lands is limited  Liability issues  Some states pay a fee to landowner for access to hunt.  Less land to hunt - land use changes
    31. 31. More people hunt on private landsAccess is key to preserving hunting tradition Source: Trends in Hunting on Public and Private Land, USFWA, 2006
    32. 32. Whooping cranes use Indiana habitat on their migration route Photos taken at Goose Pond FWA
    33. 33. Wildlife Diversity >90% of Indiana mammals, birds, fish, mussels, reptiles and amphibians are non-game species IC 14-22-34 requires: “The development of programs designed to ensure the continued ability of nongame species in need of management to self perpetuate successfully. Funded only through the voluntary tax check off Nongame Fund and State Wildlife Grants No state tax appropriations.
    34. 34. >700 Vertebrate Species in Indiana124 are State Endangered (63) or Special Concern (61) Total SE or SC  Birds 390+ 47  Fish 190+ 25  Reptiles 50+ 19  Mammals 50+ 22  Amphibians 30+ 11 Success stories: Bald eagle, River otter, Bobcat “All the easy ones have been done”
    35. 35. >2000 Invertebrate Species in Indiana  Invertebrates >2000  Only mollusks tracked for  Insects Endangered or Special concern  Crustaceans status  Arachnids  Mollusks:  State endangered 15  Mollusks  Special concern 11  Worms  Federal endangered 10  Sponges Fanshell White Cat’s PawMollusks are the “canary in the coal mine” for water quality.
    36. 36. Indiana’s 16 Federally Endangered Species Mammals  Mollusks  Gray Myotis  Fanshell  Indiana Myotis  White Cat’s Paw  Northern Riffleshell Birds  Tubercled Blossom  Whooping Crane  Pink Mucket  Piping Plover  White Wartyback  Least Tern  Orangefoot Pimpleback  Kirtland’s Warbler  Clubshell  Rough Pigtoe  Fat Pocketbook
    37. 37. ~75% of all animal species are insects Insects provide critically important services: pollination, pest control, a food source for wildlife. We must understand the role of insects in the food chain. “IDNR does not have statutory responsibility or expertise to direct conservation and management practices for most groups of invertebrate wildlife.” from ICWS, pg.28 Div. of Entomology and Plant Pathology is a small group with broad responsibilities focused on the commercial nursery and pollinator industries, e.g. commercial bees, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth.
    38. 38. Non-game Species on the Rise Bobcat, river otter, osprey, bald eagle, others rebounding statewide Due to successful reintroductions & intensive management IDNR Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Diversity Section has been a tremendous success
    39. 39. Non-game Species in Trouble Declines due to complex issues  Indiana Bat – disease and habitat loss  Box turtles, whip-poor-wills, freshwater mussels – habitat loss Several species require rare and declining habitat  Young forests, large forest blocks, wetlands, grasslands, and clean water
    40. 40. Threats to Wildlife Habitat  Pollution - sediment,  Loss for breeding excess nutrients  Loss for feeding  Agriculture/forestry  Fragmentation practices  Impedes movement and migration  Climate change  Size-scale is critical  Counter economic or Invasive species policy incentives  Commodity prices Diseases  Farm bill cutbacks  Energy strategies Source: Indiana Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy
    41. 41. Invasive species threaten Indiana’s Ecology and Economy Zebra mussels-established Emerald ash borer-spreadingSea lamprey attached to trout-ongoing control and expense Feral hogs-growing issue
    42. 42. Asian carp are in Indiana rivers and are threatening the Great LakesEagle Marsh fence
    43. 43. Invasive plants threaten wildlife habitat andForest-Japanese Stilt grass working landsFarmlands/open space-Canada Thistle Wetlands-Phragmites australis
    44. 44. Wildlife Corridors-An Approach “Green Infrastructure” to reduce habitat fragmentation Networks of:  Natural lands  Working lands  Other open spaces
    45. 45. Connecting public lands via wildlife corridors
    46. 46. Indiana’s restored wetlands play an important role in migratory bird patterns. North American Flyways  Mississippi Flyway
    47. 47. American White PelicanFirst observed 1892 - Next observed in 2009 State record high count 359 in 2010 Migratory pattern is shifting eastward due to wetlands in Indiana
    48. 48. 32 Species of Shorebirds migrate thru Indiana- from the Arctic to South America Stilt Sandpiper, 70 in 2010. State Record High Count at Goose Pond FWA Source: Lee Sterrenburg
    49. 49. Wildlife Watching
    50. 50. How many Hoosiershunt, fish, and watch wildlife? 000’sBass 324Catfish 223Deer 231Turkey 35Waterfowl ---Watchers 2,042
    51. 51. How does Indiana compare: hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers? State Bass Catfish Deer Turkey Waterfowl Watchers 000’s 000’s 000’s 000’s 000’s 000’sIndiana 324 223 231 35 --- 2,042Kentucky 344 275 238 76 --- 1,475Illinois 378 335 204 61 65 2,566Ohio 457 288 426 96 --- 3,489Michigan 531 64 713 81 --- 3,227 Sources: Report 2006-8 Trends in Hunting and Fishing 1999-2006, US Fish and Wildlife Service Report 2006-1 Wildlife Watching in the US: The Economic Impacts on National and State Economics in 2006, US Fish and Wildlife Service
    52. 52. Participation and expenditures-2006 Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching in IndianaActivity Participants Expenditures Avg. /Person Retail salesFishing 768,000 $627 mil $773Hunting 272,000 $223 mil $791Wildlife 2,042,000 $933 mil $453watching
    53. 53. Bird-watching is the fastest growingoutdoor pastime Source:“America’s Wildlife: The Challenge Ahead International Assoc. of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
    54. 54. Economic Value of $MillionsWildlife Watching Retail sales $934in Indiana Ripple effect $1,593 Salaries and owner $535 income Jobs 18,380 State/Local Tax $128 Revenue Federal Tax $117 RevenueSource: Report 2006-1 Wildlife Watching in the US: The Economic Impacts on National and State Economics,US Fish and Wildife Service
    55. 55. State Budget 2011-2013“Conservation and Environmental” = 1.1%
    56. 56. Funding Natural Resources? State budget funds? Payment in lieu of taxes (PILT)?  A municipality receives a payment in lieu of property or sales tax revenue from another government entity that owns a real asset, such as land, or a valuable right-of-way.  Federal to state PILT Other new funding mechanisms?
    57. 57. One perspective…. Strengths Weaknesses Collaboration among Lack of overarching strategic alignment conservation community among all conservation entities Major Rivers and Lake Inadequate funding for management and Michigan conservation of wildlife and habitat; stS maintenance of equipment and facilities, wildlife monitoring and research Committed people Inadequate people resources Diverse habitats Outreach and education activities limited Proven success stories Hunter/angler fees pay for all who use public wildlife areas Indiana has 2nd highest prime Conservation best management practices on farm acreage working lands not fully utilized to benefit wildlife and habitat Strong hardwoods market Too many programs depend on grants
    58. 58. One perspective… Opportunities ThreatsSNRTF-can be a turning point in Habitat loss, fragmentation,Indiana’s approach to conservation degradationHealthy Rivers Initiative and Wildlife Invasive speciesCorridors approach stSOutdoor recreation has economic impact Water quality and quantityMigratory waterfowl returning Children losing their connection to natureWildlife watching growing Federal and state cuts in conservation fundingFind a way to get non-consumptive users Loss of hunters/anglersto financially support natural resourcesNeed energy strategy that includes Energy strategies can conflict withstewardship of natural resources. conservation objectives
    59. 59. A Success Story…… Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area
    60. 60. Greene CountyCirca 1869
    61. 61. Drainage began in earnest at theturn of the last century. Farmedfor 100 years.
    62. 62. Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area 8000 acres wetland restoration under the NRCS Wetland Reserve Program Diverse habitat:  1380 acres prairie  400 acres hardwood trees  >4000 acres open water Funding through complex partnerships:  The Nature Conservancy  Ducks Unlimited  USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service  Federal Highway Administration  US Fish and Wildlife Service  State of Indiana agencies  Other conservation groups, communities, individuals
    63. 63. Goose Pond….the Story of a Wetland and its Neighbors Lee